Monty Panesar highlighted the absence of Virat Kohli’s intensity, asserting that Kohli’s confrontational approach is lacking in the current Indian team.

England has kickstarted their India tour with a remarkable 28-run victory in Hyderabad, defying expectations and challenging India’s historical dominance at home. Despite fielding an inexperienced spin attack, featuring a debutant and a player with only one Test appearance before the Hyderabad match, England outplayed India, who boasted two world-class spinners – Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.

England’s previous Test series win in India dates back to 2012 when spinner Monty Panesar played a pivotal role with 17 wickets in three games. The comeback in the Hyderabad Test, especially after a slow start, has kindled hope for England, suggesting their potential to succeed in India’s challenging conditions.

Panesar hailed England’s ‘very big victory,’ highlighting the unexpected nature of their success, particularly after trailing by 190 runs. He praised Ollie Pope’s exceptional innings but criticized India’s captain Rohit Sharma, stating he seemed clueless.

“It is a very big victory, no one even imagined this was even possible. Everyone thought that England would lose after a 190 deficit but Ollie Pope had a brilliant inning one of the best innings we have seen in a long time and Rohit Sharma was clueless. India need to stop giving the freedom that the England players are getting,” Panesar said when speaking to ANI.

With Virat Kohli absent, Panesar also underscored the missing intensity and fearless demeanor, suggesting that Kohli would challenge England players to perform again.

“If Virat Kohli was playing he would have been in the faces of these England players and told them ‘Hey, do it again let’s see how good you are’. This is an England team who are not scared of losing, they don’t scare if they lose. In the next four games, they (England) would still play without the fear of failure,” Panesar said.

“Virat Kohli has that presence and intensity, which is missing currently in the India team. Virat Kohli has that aura and presence. If England win the next Test match then India will be in big trouble. This is a big moment for Rohit Sharma, he needs to show that he can turn around the match without Virat Kohli,” he added.

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Last Updated on January 30, 2024

Senior Sports Copywriter